NEWS

From UA News: Leah Durán grew up hearing her grandparents speak Spanish, but it wasn't until she became fluent in the language and started her teaching career that she found her passion for bilingual education. Today, that passion has led to her appointment as the 2018 Richard Ruiz Scholar/Artist in Residence.

Dean Bruce Johnson welcomed tribal community members in late March, to discuss ways of sustaining language and culture, and ensure meaningful relationships between the college and tribal nations. Highlighted were ways in which the Indigenous Teacher Education Project, the American Indian Language Development Institute, and our elementary education program brought this initiative to life. The Indigenous Teacher Education Project, led by Assistant Professors Valerie Shirley and Jeremy Garcia, and Project Coordinator Kari Chew has a mission of increasing the number of indigenous who serve indigenous communities.
In addition to panel of indigenous graduate students and alumni who shared their experiences in education doctoral programs, Associate Professor Sheilah Nicholas shared her research on Indigenous Language Immersion and Native American Student Achievement. Professor Leisy Wyman presented developments with the Engaging Native Boys Project, and AILDI Coordinator Alyce Sadongei provided updates on the American Indian Language Development Institute.

Local alumni had a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the African elephants of Reid Park Zoo in February. Gudrun Godare and Randall Smith, pictured here, were two of many who attended the event. Alumni and college faculty and staff enjoyed socializing and learning about the elephants from Sue Tygielski (UA Class of ‘94 and ’05). Did you know, for instance, that many elephant calls are too low for human hearing ability? We loved getting the chance to connect with our community.

The Creative Arts Teen Summit effectively kicks off the Tucson Festival of Books each year. Just as some authors and illustrators arrange local school visits when they come to Tucson for the festival, some volunteer to provide workshops in illustration and creative writing to high school students here on campus the Friday before the festival. This is event is a collaboration between College of Education, Early Academic Outreach, UA Bookstores and, of course TFOB. We were fortunate to have the following presenters this year: Gloria Chao, Molly Idle, Marie Marquardt, Margarita Engle, Steven Engle, Rafael López, Anne Sibley O’Brien, Maya Christina Gonzalez, Juana Martinez-Neal, and a discussion panel that also included master story-teller Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea told his story of finding his way to writing, complete with voice impressions of his cousin Hugo and his Abuelita, and implored the audience that the world needs your stories to bear witness. Along the same vein, Marquardt said, "Young adults are the ones changing the world, we need their stories." Each of the writers and illustrators is passionate in their connection with the teen students and workshop sessions are a potentially pivotal highlight for the students. Student participants are close to three-hundred in number and and they visit from ten area high schools.

Educators Rising Arizona held their 2018 state leadership conference in Tucson in March. Four hundred and twenty-seven Arizona high school students interested in education careers took part in the conference. We had the pleasure of hosting them for a UA campus visit. Their visit started with an Admissions tour which terminated at Campus Rec. Before setting off on a relaxing evening to check out all that the Rec Center has to offer, the students heard from our academic advisor, Angela Botello about the programs available in our college.

Professor Shirin Antia is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of College Educators – Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH). This award honors Dr. Antia's contributions to the field across teaching, research and service in the preparation of teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Dr. Antia's career has been dedicated to improving the life of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. As a leader in her field, she has positively affected the growth of many as a classroom teacher, as a mentor for graduate students, and as a first-class researcher. Kudos!

The College of Education is working with Changemaker High School on a project designed to raise awareness of cyberbullying and promote the spread of kindness online. School Counseling students, Sarah Heath Howe (far left) and Sarah Johnson (seated, second from right) meet weekly with Changemaker High School students to help them prepare for their summer trip to Japan. It will be the first time on an airplane for some of the students, like Ricardo Goodman (in the baseball cap).

Worlds of Words had an excellent turnout for guest speaker Chong Bee Vang who introduced the new exhibit, Stitching Stories: Hmong Customs and Symbols as Told Through Storycloths. Chong Bee discussed Hmong culture, traditions and storytelling. He shared his experience as a Hmong refugee emigrating from Laos to the United States. He also spoke about the detailed needlework involved in the creation of both apparel and storycloths. The intricate stitching can take years to complete.

College of Education alumna and current graduate student Mandy Cheromiah and Native SOAR coordinator Felisia Tagaban cultivated a partnership with the Raytheon American Indian Network to mentor our Native SOAR students, who then mentor high school and middle school students. Read more.

Worlds of Words is running a pilot program -- the Teen Reading Ambassador initiative -- that positions local teens as reading ambassadors in their own schools. Teens in the program interact with published authors of young adult literature, receive books by that author, and share their experiences with their peers to promote reading in their school communities.